Today (2 January) marks the birthday of science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. The Russian-born novelist and scientist wrote classics such as I, Robot and The Gods Themselves during his career, which spanned six decades. In that period he wrote or edited an impressive 500 books before his death in 1992, aged 72.

His genre-defining work often dwelt on the ethics of technology and space exploration and was hugely influential on a subsequent generation of science fiction writers such as Philip K Dick and Kurt Vonnegut.

More recently his birthday has been unofficially observed across the world as Science Fiction Day, a wider celebration of science fiction and its contribution to American popular culture.